Travel Blogs from Dambulla
Today we said goodbye to Kandy and headed to Dambulla where we will stay for 2 days in a jungle resort called Kandalama. The drive took us out of the hill country and onto the plateau. On our way we visited a spice garden and learned about how many of the spices we use everyday are grown. Next we checked into the Kandalama Resort, which is an eco …
... to ring the bell which you ring once for each time you've completed the ascent and see the sunrise. It was freezing on top, wearing a base layer, rain coat, jumper and zip up hoody was only just warm enough. If I did it again I would also take a scarf and ear warmers. It's also very very rammed with people seeming to keep moving around, which didn't help. We all managed to be in a fairly good position to see the sunrise and also take some photos, I didn't notice the ...
... local rock about a mile away, we rented bikes and headed there instead. This rock cost 2 dollars to climb, was about the same size as Sigirya, had an amazing view of the surrounding valley and Sigiriya itself, and was far less trodden. We hiked through ancient Buddhist temples and arrived at the top of the massive boulder after scrambling through treacherous rocks and gullies. With only 3 other people on the top, it definitely beat the massive crowds we would have ...
... the money I spent getting in will also help and the fact that they would not be alive if they were still in the wild makes you a bit accepting of the situation. It is also an amazing experience to go down and see them being bathed and playing around in the water, there must of been about 40 elephants down in the lake, all looking very relaxed and happy. This happens twice a day, and again made me happier :) I had no idea that 2 hours ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHeritance Kandalama Dambulla
The rooms are lovely, the view is gorgeous, and the food is amazing.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
I stayed there 2 nights, Really a good experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Heritance Kandalama Dambulla
We went there for our Honemoon oin Aug 04 - Cannot believe the peace you get there. Staff were really friendly, music was wonderful and the hotel is so clean that you can see your face in the floor
I want to go there again
Simply the best
Quite simply this is the best hotel I have stayed in anywhere in the world. We travel extensively and stay in fantastic places but words fail me when describing the sheer magic of The Kandelama. Location, Service, Food, Cleanliness, Staff, Design. This is definately one of the places in the world you have to go before you die. It is a life experience. The only thing you need to remember is if you are touring in the area leave an extra day or two to enjoy the hotel. Go on an Elephant breakfast ride where you get up early, the hotel pack a lovely picnic breakfast and you ride on a Howdah on the back of an Elephant for a breakfast safari next to the lake in front of the hotel. The rest of your stay will only be limited by your imagination. Independant travel is safe and easy and we always have our own car and driver this is very inexpensive and usually costs about £130 for five days. These can usually be booked with the holiday through Kuoni in the UK, Sri Lankas largest tour operator.
We got married in the Kandalama in May 2002 and absolutely love this hotel so much that we vowed to return each year for our anniversary.
In total we have stayed there 3 times and the food, service, location & wildlife (especially the monkey's!) just make us want to return.
We are building a house in Sri Lanka now but the Kandalama will always be the place we want to escape to.
The staff are so helpful and friendly. The hotel does so much for the local economy by selling local crafts, employment etc
Please go there and RELAX.
You can now go up in a hot air balloon over the jungle. Sadly ours was cancelled as no wind, but you may be lucky.
Aisling & Aruna, Manchester UK
We have just spent a week at the Kandalama Hotel and could not fault a thing. The location in front of the Kandalama Tank has one of the best Hotel views that I have seen and the amount of wildlife around the Hotel was excellent. The staff were very attentive and the food was of a very high standard. Trips could be arranged by the Hotel to the Local sights as well as guided walks in the surrounding Jungle. A 1 hour trek on one of the Hotel Elephants is a must. I you are making a trip to Sri Lanka, make this Hotel part of your itinerary
Unusual hotel in unusual natural surroundings
A lovely hotel situated amongst the jungle in Sri Lankas lush green interior. Close to the famous Sigyria rock fortress (this can be seen from some of the rooms) with outstanding views accross the jungle and lakes.
Built with the environment in mind you will find spacious open air areas and floor to ceiling windows along with options to do your bit for the environment such as reusing your towels etc. As I was only here for one night during a tour I did not get to sample the swimming pools (though they all looked gorgeous and incredibly inviting!) but I was lucky enough to eat in two of the restaurants and sip drinks in both the main bar and the cocktail lounge which overlooks the jungle and surrounding area.
The hotel feels incredibly spacious due to high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, spacious balconies and a large amount of white (walls, ceilings, furniture) combined with black marble floors. Sometimes it can feel a little lonely and eerie....There are large bats at night which seem to have the run of the hotel and the air turns into a thick 'soup' of flying insects (some beautiful large butterflies though!) as soon as the sun goes down. Not a place for scaredy cats or those with prissy jumpy nerves!
The rooms are contemporary and minimalistic with small dark balcony and heavy oak doors. The bathroom is the main feature-totally overlooked by the whole jungle-including the shower cubicle! Theres something very weird (but also liberating!) about showering before a family of small monkeys at 5am.
Overall a lovely hotel which is something a bit different. Good base for exploring the interior to Sri Lanka and visiting Sigyria rock which is a rough 20 min drive away. Would not choose to stay here more than a few nights though due to its lonely location with no neighbouring hotels or shops-nearest village is a good 15 min drive away to a bustling market type town.
What a find. This hotel has done pretty much everything right. Rooms are minimalist and smart, location is second to none, food is smashing and the reception area, chill out lounge and pools are fantastic. the Staff are top class and the overall feeling is simply relaxing. The Hotel is a real gem.
negative points include the gym which is in the basement and needs some TLC, plus the massage centre which you would expect to be top quality like the rest of the hotel, but which in fact is pretty dingey.
On the whole, the hotel is beautiful and a trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without a stay at the Kandalama.
Beyond the ivy
Beyond the hustle and bustle, beyond the dust and traffic there is a magical place that awaits tourists in Sri Lanka. Getting there is NOT easy, roadways in Sri Lanka are impossible, but oh when you do... The Kandalama's architecture is breathtaking but not evident, it lies between an ivy cover and the rocks nature provided. It is a place that leaves you in awe, a fusion between nature and construction. The rooms are well sized, the bathrooms have a 'cool' 70's feel. Clean, good food, great views...If you travel to this country, the Kandalama is without discussion a must!!!
Simply the best
Felt we had to leave a review on finding this website, but are also loathe because we'd also like to keep the Kandalama a secret!
Stayed at the Kandalama last August (2003) as part of a tour and are returning this year for 8 nights over New year. It is just the best hotel ever.
On top of the world surrounded by the jungle and wildlife galore its like living in a National Geographic magazine, but with the simple luxury of a four star hotel. The food and service is superb as is the hotel's sympathetic and visually stunning architecture of Sri Lankan architect Bowa.
Don't miss the early morning birdwatching trip, truly unforgetable.
If you enjoy good food, and a gentle lifestyle, outstanding service and care about the environment then this is the place for you.
But don't tell everyone lets keep it our secret!
We have stayed at Kandalama twice now and the place never dissapoints. Its location is heaven on earth. If you enjoy getting away from it all, dramatic surroundings, wildlife, as well as experiencing a high standard of accommodation and food, then this is the place for you. Sadly it is used mainly as a transit hotel for tourists visiting Dambulla and the surrounding area. However, we have extended our stay each time, as it is just so tranquill. If you're visiting Sri Lanka, do make a point of staying here.
Out of this world
This has to be one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world. After a three hour journey from the airport you finally turn up a dirt road to the Kandalama wondering what to expect. Just as you reach the front door you catch a glimpse of the lake (or Tank) that lies in front of the hotel and are ushered to the terrace for a refreshing drink by the staff. There is no front door, since the hotel is set into the rock face and a tunnel leads through to the pool area from where an endless horizon pool dops in to the lake. The hotel is partially covered by jungle creepers and you will be visited several times a day by troops of langurs that knock on the veranda doors asking for fruit. Feed them at your peril as you can be sure of their everlasting attention if you do feed them once. Don't stay here if you don't like wildlife! There are gekko's everywhere keeping the flies down and at dusk, fruit bats sweep through the main rooms catching the moths. The hotel keeps an elephant that will take you ona tour of the jungle and into the lake. You can dine under the stars on a roof terrace to the accompanyment of pipes or a sitar. The food and service are absolutely five star. Its impossible to open a door for yourself and your room will be impeccably serviced by charming and friendly staff. The best hotel I have ever stayed in anywhere and also one of the cheapest! Go there before everyone else does.